In Haiti the voodoo is practiced by most of the population, alongside the Catholic religion. In the collective, also linked to many movies ammmerrecani, when you think you think of voodoo black magic, the zombies and dolls stuck. In fact, the voodoo is a real religion, one of the oldest in the world. I read on the internet that is basically a combination of African animist religion (especially in Benin, where voodoo is recognized as the official religion) with elements from Catholicism. In the villages scattered along the Haitian mountains is very common to see houses painted with geometric figures or dolls representing various deities associated with the trunks of trees. But these voodoo dolls, fetishes, or serve only as objects to mediate between Men and Gods, and not to be stuck with pins. What is certain is that the priests ( houngan ) and priestesses (mambo ) voodoo is a recognized great power. The followers of voodoo fear them because they believe capable of many things, including launching curses against other people. Unfortunately it happens that some priests exploit this climate of fear and ignorance to make a lot of money. But this is only a distortion of religion, voodoo is not the original. In the villages of the mountains, where religious beliefs have stronger connotations, and where the power of voodoo priests reaching very high levels, my colleagues have encountered many difficulties in their daily work to limit the outbreak of cholera . Among our activities in Haiti, in addition to the care of patients in the cholera treatment center (CTC), very important was the active search of outbreaks of infection throughout the region. The work involved in peripheral centers, among other things, awareness raising activities in the community about basic hygiene rules, how to prevent the infection of cholera, on how to treat water to make it drinkable. All this has been difficult, sometimes impossible, due to the strength and confidence in us by leaders of the mountain communities and voodoo priests. The consequences can easily be imagined: unrecognized cases of cholera in the mountains and possibly even deaths, which constitute a source of infection is very important, as the cult of the dead in these villages provides that the corpse is washed with water and then drink it from being by the children of the deceased to receive the soul!
Then it happened that JC, friend e collega, un giorno vede nel nostro centro il sacerdote vudù di una vicina comunità. Se ne sta seduto tranquillo, bicchiere in mano, a sgollarsi il beverone con i Sali di Reidratazione Orale (SRO). Di fianco l’immancabile secchio pronto per qualsiasi emergenza. Il mio amico si avvicina. Il sacerdote gli confida che da tre giorni gli ha preso uno squaraus mai visto! Teme che un sacerdote rivale gli abbia lanciato un feticcio. E quindi è venuto da noi. Hai capito!?! Prima rompe la minchia sui monti: il colera non esiste, è un’invenzione dei bianchi eccetera. Poi alla prima cacarella corre da noi a chiappe strette!
Alla faccia del vudù!!!
Per saperne di più:
- wikipedia: voodoo
- introduction to voodoo in Haiti
- National Geographic: haiti, possessed by voodoo
- peace-reporter: voodoo, deeply religious African